Bruins

Krejci (maintenance) among the missing from B's practice

Krejci (maintenance) among the missing from B's practice

BRIGHTON, Mass – Zdeno Chara, David Krejci and Steve Kampfer all missed Sunday’s practice as the Bruins kick off a week-plus of preparation ahead of the Stanley Cup Final, but both Chara and Kampfer skated ahead of practice at Warrior Ice Arena.

Krejci was given a maintenance day after the Bruins had both Friday and Saturday off the ice completely, but it still sounds like all three will be good to go once the Stanley Cup Final gets underway against either St. Louis or San Jose.

“It’s a maintenance day for [Krejci], so he should be out there tomorrow. Chara and Kampfer skated before practice, so we’ll see if they get integrated [on Monday],” said Bruce Cassidy. “We’ve kind of set it up so that I don’t believe we’re going to skate on Tuesday. Zee might get back on Wednesday, but I don’t want to push it. He’s a workhorse and we want to get him there as quickly as possible. I suspect they will all be back out there on Wednesday.”

It’s a much less rosy picture for Kevan Miller (knee) and Chris Wagner (right arm), who aren’t looking like the Cup Final is going to be a possibility. Wagner suffered what looked like a significant injury blocking a Justin Faulk shot in the Game 3 over the Hurricanes in Carolina, but Miller hasn’t been able to suit up for even a single playoff game after battling a slew of injuries that limited him to just 39 games played this season.

It’s a difficult situation that hits hard with a good, team-first D-man like the 31-year-old Miller that’s always been a good teammate during his career with the Bruins.

“I feel terrible for him,” said Cassidy. “He’s had a tough year with the injuries.”

Clearly the 10 days off between the conference final and Stanley Cup Final are going to give the Bruins an opportunity to be as healthy as they’ve been through this entire postseason, and that’s something they have already begun taking full advantage of this weekend. Rookies Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril and Zane McIntyre were all members of the B’s practice as part of the Black Aces crew for the B’s during these playoffs.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings at Sunday’s practice for the Black and Gold:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak
DeBrusk-Kuhlman-Backes
Johansson-Coyle-Heinen
Nordstrom-Kuraly-Acciari

Grzelcyk-McAvoy
Krug-Carlo
Moore-Clifton

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Boston Bruins 2019-20 NHL schedule: All dates, times, opponents revealed

Boston Bruins 2019-20 NHL schedule: All dates, times, opponents revealed

The Boston Bruins came within one win of hoisting the Stanley Cup in 2019, and they'll get back to work defending their Eastern Conference crown on Oct. 3 in Dallas.

The full schedule for the 2019-20 NHL season was revealed Thursday at noon ET. According to one hockey mathematician, the Bruins have one of the most grueling schedules in the league.

Here are most notable matchups on the Bruins' schedule:

Home opener: Oct. 12 vs. New Jersey Devils
2019 Stanley Cup Final rematch: Oct. 26  in Boston and April 2 in St. Louis 
Matchups with the rival Montreal Canadiens: Nov. 5 in MTL, Nov. 26 in MTL, Dec. 1 in BOS, Feb. 12 in BOS
Chicago Blackhawks' only game in Boston: Thursday, Dec. 5
Connor McDavid's only game in Boston: Saturday, Jan. 4

And without further ado, here's the full Bruins schedule for next season (all times local):

OCTOBER
Thursday, October 3 at Dallas, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 5 at Arizona, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, October 8 at Vegas, 7 p.m.
Thursday, October 10 at Colorado, 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 12 vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Monday, October 14 vs. Anaheim, 1 p.m.
Thursday, October 17 vs. Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 19 at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, October 22 vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 26 vs. St. Louis, 7 p.m.
Sunday, October 27 at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, October 29 vs. San Jose, 7 p.m.

NOVEMBER
Saturday, November 2 vs. Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Monday, November 4 vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, November 5 at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Friday, November 8 at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 10 vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, November 12 vs. Florida, 7 p.m.
Friday, November 15 at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Saturday, November 16 vs. Washington, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, November 19 at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Thursday, November 21 vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, November 23 vs. Minnesota, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, November 26 at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, November 27 at Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Friday, November 29 vs. N.Y. Rangers 1 p.m.

DECEMBER
Sunday, December 1 vs. Montreal, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, December 3 vs. Carolina, 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 5 vs. Chicago, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 7 vs. Colorado, 7 p.m.
Monday, December 9 at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 11 at Washington, 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 12 at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 14 at Florida, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, December 17 vs. Los Angeles, 7 p.m.
Thursday, December 19 vs. N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 21 vs. Nashville, 7 p.m.
Monday, December 23 vs. Washington, 7 p.m.
Friday, December 27 at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 29 vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, December 31 at New Jersey, 1 p.m.

JANUARY
Thursday, January 2 vs. Columbus, 7 p.m.
Saturday, January 4 vs. Edmonton, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, January 7 at Nashville, 7 p.m.
Thursday, January 9 vs. Winnipeg, 7 p.m.
Saturday, January 11 at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.
Monday, January 13 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, January 14 at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Thursday, January 16 vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Sunday, January 19 at Pittsburgh, 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 21 vs. Vegas, 7 p.m.
Friday, January 31 at Winnipeg, 7 p.m.

FEBRUARY
Saturday, February 1 at Minnesota, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, February 4 vs. Vancouver, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, February 5 at Chicago, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 8 vs. Arizona, 3 p.m.
Sunday, February 9 at Detroit, 12:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 12 vs. Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 15 vs. Detroit, 1 p.m.
Sunday, February 16 at N.Y. Rangers, 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 19 at Edmonton, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, February 21 at Calgary, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 22 at Vancouver, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, February 25 vs. Calgary, 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 27 vs. Dallas, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 29 at N.Y. Islanders, 1 p.m.

MARCH
Tuesday, March 3 at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 5 at Florida, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 7 vs. Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 10 at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Friday, March 13 at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 14 vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 16 vs. Columbus, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 18 at Anaheim, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 19 at Los Angeles, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 21 at San Jose, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 24 vs. Detroit, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 26 vs. Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 28 vs. Florida, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 31 at Carolina, 7 p.m.

APRIL
Thursday, April 2 at St. Louis, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 4 vs. Carolina, 7 p.m.

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Does signing Steven Kampfer mean a Bruins trade is imminent? Not exactly

Does signing Steven Kampfer mean a Bruins trade is imminent? Not exactly

Some have taken the signing of defenseman Steve Kampfer to a two-year contract by the Bruins as a definitive sign that the B's are about to trade a defenseman.

Whether it’s Torey Krug, Matt Grzelcyk or Kevan Miller, a faction of the Bruins fan base believes one of them is a goner after Kampfer’s contract for $800,000 over the next couple of seasons. Certainly it might feel like a peculiarly timed signing when NHL management typically takes care of the biggest contracts first before working down to the rank-and-file depth players like Kampfer.

At first blush all of the above might be natural initial reactions, but every indication is that the Bruins are pretty comfortable with their current situation on the blue line headed into the July 1 open of free agency.

“I’m pretty comfortable obviously with [Brandon] Carlo, [Charlie] McAvoy. [Matt] Grzelcyk played really well for us this year,” said Bruins President Cam Neely. “Torey [Krug] had a strong year. You know, obviously Zdeno’s [Chara] another year older, but we’ve got a couple good, young lefthanded prospects coming.”

With that in mind, there are a couple of other reasons why locking up Kampfer now makes sound business sense.  

One is the Bruins gaining insurance with their spare defenseman for next season after the 30-year-old dutifully played the role as eighth defenseman last season playing in 35 games, scoring three goals and six points and adding a playoff goal to his résumé during spot postseason duty. Kampfer is that rare player who can sit for long periods of time, stay ready and then contribute if injuries or ineffectiveness hit the back end.

That’s something that would be a tough ask for a young player like 24-year-old Connor Clifton if he were to be slotted in as the eighth D-man next season.

The second reason has more to do with the B’s defensemen situation overall. The Bruins need some certainty on the right side of their defense with both Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy as restricted free agents who may, or may not, take some time for their contract situations to get resolved. If there were to be a holdout with either of the two, with McAvoy the more likely given the money involved in his negotiations, Kampfer gives the Bruins another option on the right side who’s already signed, sealed and delivered for cheap NHL money.

There’s also the fact that veteran D-man John Moore was facing shoulder surgery in mid-June and the normal timetable is 5-6 months, which would put his return into November or December. That means the Bruins will likely be short one of their defensemen to start next season, and that Kampfer will likely be needed as a semi-regular in the first half of the season.  

The signing leaves the Bruins with a tick over $12 million in cap space that’s expected to be eaten up by restricted free agent contracts for McAvoy, Carlo and Danton Heinen, so it makes sense that the B’s want to get cost certainty for their reserve players for next season.

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